HMS Ramsey, HMS Dragon Team Up to Safeguard Shipping in the Gulf
Sandown-class minehunter HMS Ramsey may only be a sixteenth of the size of HMS Dragon, a Type 45 air defence destroyer, but the two vessels are working side by side maintaining maritime security in the region – a task the Royal Navy has been undertaking for over twenty years.
Two Sandown and two Hunt class mine hunters are permanently deployed in the Gulf to ensure freedom of navigation in the area, whilst HMS Dragon is providing support to the Combined Maritime Forces – a 29-nation naval coalition dedicated to preventing illicit activity and piracy in the waters of the Middle East.
Given their roles and the close proximity in which they work, the two warships recently exercised their ability to work as a team, with Dragon supplying force protection and a long-range radar picture for the smaller specialist ship.
“If we were working as part of a task group and came under threat, the minehunters would rely on the larger ships’ advanced sensors and specialist teams to extend our operating horizon,” explains Sub-Lieutenant Dave “Partia” Lee, Ramsey’s Gunnery Officer.
“As a small ship with a key but very specific capability, we often work alongside other elements within a larger force, UK or international, who can supply us with information and help with our defence, ensuring we can remain on task around the clock.”
Taking advantage of the close proximity of the two vessels, sailors from each ship – most of whom specialise in branches which will not take them to sea onboard the opposite class – exchanged places for a few hours to experience life on the other side.
“It is interesting to see how the ‘other half’ live,” says AB(Mine Warfare) Daniel Moseley.
“They have a lot more space and more facilities but it is so big you just couldn’t get to know everyone the way you can do on a small ship.”
HMS Ramsey is two-thirds of the way through a three-year deployment to the Gulf, with crews rotating every six months.
The current Ship’s Company is made up of MCM1 Crew One, who will hand over to MCM1 Crew Six in mid-July.
HMS Dragon arrived in the Gulf in March 2013, as part of the new Warship’s first deploymen
Press Release, June 24, 2013; Image: Royal Navy